Murder in Rabwah of Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar, a Canadian-American cardiologist
This report is about the assassination of Dr Mehdi Ali Qamar, a Canadian-American cardiologist of fame who had come to Pakistan in May this year on a mercy mission. He had come to serve people of the country of his origin, regardless of their faith or ethnicity. He had reported to the Tahir Heart Institute in Rabwah only two days earlier. He was shot dead on the third day in the morning when he strolled to the town’s graveyard for a ritual visit. The incident was outcome of religious hatred and part of the ongoing anti-Ahmadiyya target-killing campaign. The police have failed to arrest the killers.
Rabwah (Chenab Nagar); May 26, 2014: Ahmadiyya community central office in Pakistan issued the following press release (Translation):
Pakistan-born American doctor Mehdi Ali Qamar murdered in Rabwah. He had come here to serve people of country of his origin.
The incident is outcome of religious hatred and part of the ongoing anti-Ahmadiyya target-killing campaign: Spokesman Jamaat Ahmadiyya
Chenab Nagar (Rabwah): (PR) Ahmadi cardiac surgeon Dr. Mehdi Ali Qamar was shot dead this morning on May 26 in foreground of a Rabwah graveyard.
As per details, Pakistan-born U.S. doctor Mehdi Ali Qamar was out with his family walking to the graveyard for prayers when two unidentified men riding a motorcycle fired gunshots killing him on the spot. Eleven empties were recovered from the site. Dr. Qamar had come only two days before for temporary service at the famous Tahir Heart Institute, Rabwah. He was 50. Dr. Qamar was a charitable gentleman who had no vendetta with anyone. He left behind a wife and three sons.
The Ahmadiyya spokesman of the Pakistan Jamaat, Mr. Saleem Ud Din strongly condemned the murder. “Brutal murder of this doctor who served fellow human beings without discrimination is most painful,” he said. Murder of a doctor who had recently come to serve his compatriots is a crime against humanity. This hurtful incident is part of the on-going anti-Ahmadi killing campaign. “Anti-Ahmadi activists openly publish hate material that calls for murder of Ahmadis,” he said. In the past hateful leaflets declared that treatment in Tahir Heart Institute was haram (forbidden in Shariah). “In order to put a stop to murders in the name of faith it is essential to put a ban on hate-promoting literature, and those who issue fatwas legitimising murder of innocent people should be brought to justice,” he said. The spokesman demanded that authorities trace the killers of Dr. Mehdi Ali Qamar and punish them as per law. END
The attitude of the police was not commendable. Rather than pursuing and apprehending the criminals involved in immediate aftermath of the incident they preferred to look for some easy answer. The Asian Human Rights Commission made it part of the title of their Case Report:
Pakistan: An Ahmadi humanitarian activist is shot dead – the police show no sign in investigating the case. M AHRC-UAC-079-2014
Earlier, a Khatme Nabuwwat group in nearby Sargodha had issued the following hateful leaflet (shown here partly) against the Tahir Heart Institute Rabwah where Dr Qamar had come to work:
Fatwa: All schools of Muslim Ulama (sic) have given the edict that Mirzais (Ahmadis) are Kafir (infidels) and Zindique (apostates) for their beliefs and worship. All relationships with them, social, business, familial and friendships are haram (forbidden in Sharia). Any Muslim who maintains any relationship with these people is a transgressor, sinner and hell-bound. One who considers them to be Muslim, is himself a Kafir (infidel).
Note: In Chenab Nagar, Qadianis have a famous hospital, (Tahir Heart Centre); visiting this hospital for medical advice or treatment is Haram (forbidden) and a gunahe kabeerah
Shubban Khatme Nabuwwat, Sargodha Pakistan 0300-9606593; 0321-6024664; 0300-8651074; 0301-6729986
It is relevant to mention that the administration and the police took no notice of this vile hateful propaganda.
This murder received attention of major media houses all over the world. More than 30 news sources reported the incident. A few headlines are placed below:
U.S. Doctor Is Killed by Gunman in Pakistan.
New York Times on May 26, 2014 on nytms/1mtGZAO
Ahmadi cardiologist shot dead in Rabwah. Dr Mehdi arrived Pakistan a few days ago on mission to serve humanity. BBC May 26, 2014 at 12:19 GM
US doctor killed in Pakistan sectarian attack. Volunteer cardiologist Mehdi Ali Qamar becomes victim of latest attack on country’s Ahmadiyya minority community. Al Jazeera
Pakistan: An Ahmadi humanitarian activist is shot dead
The police show no interest in investigatng the case
Asian Human Rights Commission urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-079-2014
Pakistan: depuis quand Rabwah est une ville sure pour les Ahmadis?
Le Huffington Post Posted as Pakistan 26.5.2014 14:29
American doctor shot dead in Pakistan in suspected sectarian attack
The guardian.com.UK edition 26 May 2014
Ahmadi doctor shot at Rabwah Newsweek. Posted May 26, 2014
Pickerington Cardiologist Murdered in Pakistan
nbc4.com by Associated Press Posted on May 26, 2014
Cold blooded murder of Dr Mehdi Ali: World charities’ condemnation
This terror attack is on a poor society: Dr Asif Rehman
The daily Mashriq; 28.5.2014
The New York Times in nytimes.com added the following comment in ‘Asia Pacific’ section on 14/05/27:
“It was the second year that Dr Qamar had volunteered at the Tahir Heart Institute, a hospital specializing in cardiac treatment that is run by the Ahmadi community and treats patients of all faiths. In recent months, religious extremists distributed pamphlets in the area warning Muslims against using the hospital.
“Visiting a doctor or receiving treatment in that hospital is forbidden in Islam and an unforgivable sin,” said one such pamphlet. Mr. Din said the police and other law enforcement agencies had failed to act against those orchestrating the campaign.”
Qasim Nauman of Dow Jones Company Inc. wrote an article on the incident and mentioned the following on http://online.wg.com/article/BT-CO-20140526-703394 html:
“Zohra Yusuf, chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent campaigning group, said that every religious minority in Pakistan is persecuted, but the Ahmadiyya community faces the worst treatment. Several local-language newspapers publish anti-Ahmadi material but there is no action against them, she said.
“Shantanu Sinha, a cardiologist in Lancaster who worked with Dr Qamar for the past 10 years, described him as a religious person who gave generously to his local community in Ohio. Dr Qamar worked at a vein care center called Vanishing Veins Ohio and at a cardiology office known as Cardio Vascular Specialists near the local hospital.
“He was one of the most honest, ethical and not-a-bad-bone-in-his-body kind of person,” said Dr. Sinha, adding that Dr. Qamar returned to Pakistan to provide free cardiac care. “He was very giving.”
“An Ahmadiyya community’s spokesman, Saleem Ud Din said: Dr Qamar had arrived in Pakistan on Saturday for a week of volunteer work at the Tahir Heart Institute, a hospital run by the sect.
“Dr. Qamar regularly visited Pakistan, bringing with him medical equipment and supplies he collected in charity drives in the U.S,” said his childhood friend Sultan Mubashir. “Dr. Qamar wrote poetry in his spare time, and was planning to publish a collection of his poems,” Mr. Mubashir said.
“I was friends with him for 44 years and I can’t remember us having an argument, let alone a fight,” Mr. Mubashir said. “How can anyone want to kill him? Ninety percent of our patients at the hospital aren’t Ahmadis. He didn’t care about your faith, he just wanted to help.”
Dr Ali was more than a cardiologist. He was a philanthropist, a social worker, a poet and a calligraphist. He won many professional awards; he was rated one of the outstanding and eminent cardiologists and physicians in the US. It seems that in him, one of Pakistan’s finest sons opted to take up US nationality and serve Pakistanis after acquiring excellent education and expertise in the West, only to be shot dead by religious bigots in the land of his origin.
The prestigious Daily Times, Lahore published an editorial on May 27, 2014 with the title: We have let down the Ahmedi community.
Almost a month later the daily Dawn published a story in its issue of June 23, 2014:
“US doctor killed in Pakistan remembered
“Groveport: A memorial service in central Ohio has honoured an American cardiologist shot and killed last month in Pakistan in front of his wife and toddler.
Police say two gunmen riding a motorcycle shot Mehdi Ali Qamar as his family left a cemetery after visiting relatives’ graves.
The 51 year old doctor was from the Ahmadi community.
About 100 relatives, friends and colleagues gathered on Saturday south of Columbus to remember Mr. Qamar, a resident of Pickerington.
Speakers at the memorial remembered Mr. Qamar as a man dedicated to serving humanity – AP.
The daily Jang published an op-ed by US-based Azim M Mian on June 11, 2014 on this subject. An extract (translation):
…Pak-American doctors, members of the New York chapter of APPNA held a protest demonstration in front of the Pakistan Consulate in NY. A representative delegation of the chapter led by its president Dr Pervez Iqbal arrived to present a memorandum to the Consul General who had been informed two days earlier of their intentions. However the Consul General and the Vice Consul did not bother to receive this Memorandum from these distinguished, honoured, educated Pakistani doctors but left it to a staff member to receive it. What impression will that leave with Pakistanis about the attitude of Pakistani officials appointed abroad to serve the overseas Pakistanis?